Editor's note: Contact7 seeks out audience tips and feedback to help people in need, resolve problems and hold the powerful accountable. If you know of a community need our call center could address, or have a story idea for our investigative team to pursue, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (720) 462-7777. Find more Contact7 stories here.
EVERGREEN, Colo. — If a picture is worth a thousand words, during this pandemic, an Evergreen artist is learning to use her voice like never before. Now, she is reaching out to Contact7 Gives to paint an image of hope of which you can be a part.
Every artists needs an inspiration. For artist Julie Leidel, that has long been Colorado.
"We just fell in love with the Colorado mountains," said Leidel, from her studio in her Evergreen home. "I have a Colorado collection, mostly the ski resorts and mountains and cities and just everything that kind of makes Colorado home."
Her work has taken her all over the state; she did 26 shows last year alone.
"So definitely, the virus has impacted the way I do my job," she said, adding that with art shows and schools shut down, "it's kind of a career change overnight."
While her focus has shifted to acting as teacher for her two elementary-school aged children, she has found new sources of inspiration.
"There's definitely a new layer and new meaning to all of my work during this time," she said.
Leidel has been working to market online as well as find a way to give back.
"So, I've been giving 50 percent of my sales online since April 5 to the American Red Cross," she said. "And it's been so wonderful."
So she didn't stop there, reaching out to Contact7 Gives with an offer.
"I've just been really inspired by Contact7 Gives," she said. "And I said, 'You know, I would love to be able to enrich other people's lives and help make a difference on a local level.'"
Through June, Leidel plans to donate half of the proceeds to Contact7 Gives from her most recent piece inspired by the pandemic.
"I know that every feeling I have, everybody else is having it too," she said. "So, this painting is entitled 'The Power of Hope,' and it's about piercing the darkness with the power of hope. I really want people to have that hope. If we follow that, we won't get too far off of our path."
Prints of "The Power of Hope" range from $35 to $500 and can be found here.